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Full text of "The Fate Of Man In The Modern World"

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NEW FORCES IN THE WORLD'S LIFE         77

The collective of our epoch introduces a
novelty. The collectives of former times, con-
sisted of various differentiated groups, national,
family, professional or class. Now the collective
is generalized and made universal. The world
seems to be moving toward a universal col-
lectivism in which all differentiation disappears.
In Communism, Fascism or National-Socialism
we see clearly this process of depersonalization:
all must think alike, have the same opinions;
all personal originality is lost in the collective.

This process of unification and universaliza-
tion strikes hardest at the chosen individualist
who belong to no group or collective. We are
witnessing a reversion to the herd instinct, but
in new, civilized and technicalized forms. The
masses who have come into power want to live
in these new, organized, but not organic, col-
lectives. The mass-man is depersonalized, yet
he can display more sacrifice and unselfishness
than the bourgeois individualist. At the same
time we see the influence of a factor which played
a role as far back as the capitalistic society of
the nineteenth century, and which served as the
basis for the theories of Marx. This factor is
economism.1 The power of economics was
never so strong as in our time. Now nothing
can escape its influence. Everyone is troubled

1 See next paragraph.